Three Minute Thesis 

Three Minute Thesis is a fast-paced research communication competition. Originally developed by The University of Queensland in 2008, it has now been widely adopted at universities around the world.

The exercise challenges master’s and doctoral students to present a compelling talk on their thesis/dissertation topic and its significance. Many theses and dissertations can be over 80,000 words and take hours to present, but students in this competition have just three minutes and one slide to convey their often highly-technical research to a lay audience.  

Judging criteria is centered on three core competencies:

  • Communication style: Was the thesis topic and its significance communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
  • Comprehension: Did the presentation help the audience understand the research?
  • Engagement: Did the oration make the audience want to know more?

View VCU 3MT® Competition participants' presentations on VCU Scholars Compass.

2021 VCU 3MT® Competition Winners

First place:
Josly Pierre-Louis, Clinical and Translational Research - Ph.D.
Improving Cancer Treatment by Targeting the Toxic Side Effects of Radiation Therapy

Second place: 
Ann Kee, Integrative Life Sciences - Ph.D.
One Mean Gene: How P2X3 Makes Asthma Worse in Women

Third place:
Chastyn Smith, Integrative Life Sciences - Ph.D.
Helping Solve "Whodunnit": Determining the Number of Contributors in a Sample Earlier in the Forensic Workflow

People's choice award (audience vote):
Ann Kee, Integrative Life Sciences - Ph.D.
One Mean Gene: How P2X3 Makes Asthma Worse in Women